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Artificial intelligence hit some key milestones in 2017. At Facebook, chat bots were able to negotiate as well as their human counterparts. A poker-playing system designed by Carnegie Mellon professors mopped the floor with live opponents. There were even some potentially life-saving breakthroughs, like the machine vision system that can determine whether a mole is cancerous with more than 90 percent accuracy–beating out a group of dermatologists. From agriculture to medicine and beyond, plenty of startups are using A.I. in innovative ways. Here are five companies you should expect big things from in 2018. 1. SoundHound  SoundHound has been around for 13 years, and has spent that time trying
“ROI” can be a blurry idea in the world of content marketing. With often hard-to-measure costs and returns, content marketing ROI or value isn’t always crystal clear. Dealing in metrics like pageviews, time-on-page, organic impressions, and others aren’t always directly translatable into business revenue, which — let’s face it — is what your bosses really care about. Even though only 8% of content marketers consider themselves successful in tracking content marketing ROI, we all know that content marketing is incredibly valuable. As our CEO Lee Odden has said for a long time: “Content is the reason search engines exist and
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit upfront that I am a semi-vegan, that is, I’m fully vegan (eating plant-based food solely) during the week, then on weekends I go off the wagon — adding seafood, eggs, and dairy to the mix. Fortunately for this writer, coffee is vegan, because I drink a lot of that all week long. According to recent studies, 6 percent of Americans now identify themselves as vegan — an increase of 600 percent from 2014. According to a report on food trends published by research firm Global Data, “Rising veganism and awareness of
Crystal Etienne never expected to be grateful for having issues with bladder control. But three years into her blossoming business focused on helping people with incontinence, PantyProp, she’s exactly that. These days the New York-based founder may also be grateful that her biggest competition recently saw its reputation tarnished.  That company, Thinx, which was founded in 2014 and bills itself as the “period proof” panty maker, recently parted ways with its star founder and former CEO, Miki Agrawal, after she was accused of sexual harassment and fostering a toxic work environment in 2017. While the company is reportedly now on sounder footing, as the new CEO this week told Racked, the PR crisis that
Her name is Fiona and January 24, 2018 marks her 1st birthday. The most star-studded inhabitant in the history of the Cincinnati Zoo is the world’s first premature hippo to survive in captivity and is a roly-poly reminder of our love of the underdog. Er, underhippo. Fiona was born 6 weeks early and weighed only 29 pounds, less than half the average hippo birth weight of 55-100 pounds and two dozen pounds lighter than the lowest ever recorded birth weight of her species. She required around the clock medical attention for months in her battle to survive. But survive she
I recently attended a networking event and watched a young man commit a huge networking sin. It was like witnessing a car wreck in slow motion = painful. Yet, I couldn’t look away. His networking technique was terrible and he looked miserable. Most people hate networking. Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of the key activities to finding a new job. But, what if you could use networking to make jobs come to you? There’s a technique you can use to tap into what’s know as the “hidden” job market. That’s all those open jobs out there that aren’t posted online. How do
Since my company, SalesFolk, is in the business of sales emails, we spend a lot of time sharing tips for writing the best possible messages.  Those tips, of course, pile up over the course of a year, and while they’re all valid, it’s useful to sometimes pause for a moment and return to the basics. By that I mean the elements anyone can use to write the kind of message potential customers will appreciate and respond to. That means letting a recipient know they’re valuable, learning how to make your messages action-oriented, and, of course, good copywriting skills. With that in mind, I put
Elon Musk is at it again, making bold announcements that can’t help but draw attention.  This time around, it has to do with his tenure as Tesla’s CEO and the unveiling of his astonishing CEO pay package.   The New York Times reported that Musk ended speculation he might soon hand over the reins as CEO. In fact, Musk announced he’s signed up for ten more years. Big enough announcement, but it pales in comparison to what comes next. Musk also revealed that he will only be paid if he hits a series of “jaw-dropping milestones based on the company’s market value and operations”. 
In December of last year, internal emails from employees of the Miss America Pageant surfaced. In the emails, which dated back as far as August 2014, CEO Sam Haskell told the lead writer of the telecast, Lewis Friedman, “I have decided that when referring to a woman who was once Miss America, we are no longer going to call them Forever Miss Americas….please change all script copy to reflect that they are Former Miss Americas!” In response, Friedman said: “I’d already changed ‘Forevers’ to ‘Cunts.’ Does that work for you?” Instead of reprimanding his employee for the disrespectful language, Haskell
Constraints are opportunities. Don’t believe me? Consider the words of iconic American designer Charles Eames: “Here is one of the few effective keys to the design problem — the ability of the designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible — his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints. Constraints of price, of size, of strength, of balance, of surface, of time and so forth.“ We all have constraints. What can set you apart from others is this willingness and enthusiasm described by Eames. If you can have the  optimism to see constraints